Defending theHuman Rightto a Fair Trial
January 12, 2017
A new documentary has been broadcast, showing the devastating impact that INTERPOL Red Notices can have when used on the wrong people.
The documentary, available on Al-Jazeera here, asks questions of how the international policing organisation operates, and features an interview with Jürgen Stock, the Secretary-General of INTERPOL, to give them a chance to address the issues raised by people affected by Red Notices.
The 25 minute documentary features contributions from a number of Fair Trials’ clients, including Benny Wenda – whose case first alerted Fair Trials to the problem – as well as Bahar Kimyongur, Nadejda Atayeva, and Michelle Betz.
One of those featured was Azer Samadov, whose Red Notice was deleted six years after he first found out about it. The process wasn’t easy, with his lawyer describing the CCF as “completely ineffective” and “a joke.” Azer describes his experience in the documentary: “These are very bad memories, very unpleasant memories. I wouldn’t like for somebody else like me, to end up in that sort of situation.”
However, Azer’s case is one affected by changes introduced by INTERPOL. This reform, which was originally announced following a meeting with Fair Trials in March 2015, was a real step forward in helping to change the way that the INTERPOL Red Notice system operates. Fair Trials has long underlined the need for better protection of refugees in the INTERPOL system.
This change proved to just be the first, and at INTERPOL’s 85th General Assembly at the end of 2016, the international policing organisation adopted major reforms, again informed by our recommendations. These included:
Fair Trials’ Legal and Policy Officer Bruno Min provides more in depth analysis of the changes here.
Time will tell how effective these changes are, but we hope that these amendments will help to protect activists, refugees and journalists all over the world from abusive regimes.
If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.
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